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Rohingya face ethnic cleansing — United Nations rights chief

Rohingya face ethnic cleansing — United Nations rights chief”

GENEVA The U.N. human rights chief said Monday that the violence and injustice faced by the ethnic Rohingya minority in Myanmar, where U.N. rights investigators have been barred from entering, "seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing".

It said there were reports, backed by satellite imagery, of "security forces and local militia burning Rohingya villages" and committing extrajudicial killings.

The UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar has said the latest violence may have left more than 1,000 dead, a lot of them Rohingya.

Attacks by Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) militants on police posts and an army base in the northwestern state of Rakhine on August 25 provoked a military counter-offensive.

In response, the military intensified "clearance operations" against "terrorists", driving thousands of people from their homes.

"This complete denial of reality is doing great damage to the worldwide standing of a government which, until recently, benefited from vast good will", he said, calling on authorities to allow his office access to investigate the situation in the country.

Senate on Monday strongly condemned grave crimes against Rohingya Muslims by groups of religious extremists at the behest of the government of Myanmar and urged the government of Pakistan to immediately take up the matter with UN Secretary General besides actively pursuing at OIC and other forums.

The UN refugee agency says at least 313,000 Rohingya have now arrived in Bangladesh from Myanmar's Rakhine state since August 25, around a third of the total population of 1.1 million.

An online petition calling for the revocation of Suu Kyi's 1991 Nobel Peace Prize has accrued 366,000 signatures.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights noted Rijiju had reportedly said that because India is not a signatory to the Refugee Convention it "can dispense with worldwide law on the matter, together with basic human compassion". He also spoke about rights concerns in Burundi, Venezuela, Yemen, Libya and the United States, where he expressed concerns about the Trump administration's plan to dismantle protection for younger immigrants, many of whom have lived most of the lives in the U.S.

"We were all running way because the army was firing on our village", he said.

Arshad Zamman, 60, said his family had only 80,000 Burmese kyat ($60) and so he had taken a boat to Cox's Bazar on his own and would return to pick up his wife and two sons when he had enough for their journey. "I will beg and hopefully some people will help me", he said.

On Sunday, Myanmar's government bluntly rejected a ceasefire proposed by militants in Rakhine after more than two weeks of bloodshed.

There are regular clashes between the Rohingya and the country's security forces, as well as other ethnic groups in Rakhine, which are predominantly Buddhist.

"We shut down the lights in the mosque and sneaked out", the mufti, who was in the mosque at the time, told Reuters by phone.

An all party protest meeting was also organised at Nampally here condemning the killings of Rohingya Muslims which was addressed among those by CPI general secretary S Sudhakar Reddy and senior Congress leader Mohd Ali Shabbir.



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